23/07/2001

Eligibility for school travel passes to be extended

Regional Development Minister, Gregory Campbell, has taken action to ensure that schoolchildren will be entitled to travel at half-fare rate on public transport starting in September.

The Minister explained that under previous arrangements, children who turned 16 during July and August had to pay the full adult fare for their school travel passes, even though the law required them to attend school until the end of the following June. However, their classmates, whose 16th birthdays fell after the start of the new school year, could still purchase school travel passes at the half-fare rate.

Mr Campbell said: “This situation was clearly unfair and, once it was brought to my attention, I took immediate steps to change the travel concession scheme. From September onwards, all children will be eligible for half-fare travel until they finish their compulsory schooling.

“Children, who reach 16 during July and August and have already paid the full adult rate for their Translink school travel pass for the next school year, will be eligible for a refund. They, or their parents, should contact the Translink office which issued the pass.”

This new travel concession, which starts in September, is funded by the Department for Regional Development and will apply until 30 June following a child’s 16th birthday. (MB)

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